Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS)

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The Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS) was first administered in 1988. New legal regulations required that a testing program be implemented in the state of Illinois' teacher licensure program, and the Illinois State Board of Education contracted with the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson to develop the examinations.[1] The first Basic Skills Test was implemented in July 1988 and was followed in September 1988 by the first content-area tests. [2]

Several major changes have occurred in the history of the ILTS. The Enhanced Basic Skills Test was implemented in 2001. In 2003, the Assessment of Professional Teaching (APT) exams were introduced. In 2010, a five-time testing limit was implemented. Also starting in 2010, many ILTS exams received computer-based versions, and starting in 2014, paper-based ILTS exams started being phased out. In 2012, the Basic Skills test was replaced by the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP).[2]

Function of the Test

ILTS Study Guide

The ILTS examinations are used by the State of Illinois in its teacher licensure program. The ILTS exams are divided into three primary categories: the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP); the Assessment of Professional Teaching (APT) Pre–K through Grade 12; and the Content-Area Tests (including academic content areas, language proficiency tests, learning behavior specialist tests, and administrator tests).[3]

All teachers take the TAP and APT examinations. Specific Content-Area Tests are taken based on the educator's intended role.

Between January and March 2015, 1,605 candidates took the TAP exam, of whom only 31% passed the full exam. Pass rates for individual sections were 48% for Reading Comprehension, 44% for Language Arts, 38% for Mathematics, and 85% for Writing.[4] The Illinois State Board of Education does not appear to release testing statistics or pass rates for the APT exam or for the subject tests.

Test Administration

ILTS Flashcards

Most computer-based ILTS exams are available year-round by appointment. Computer-based exams are administered at Pearson VUE testing sites. Paper-based exams are administered on three days per year, with registration deadlines more than a month in advance. Paper-based tests are administered at only 13 sites across the state of Illinois, each of which is typically only open for two of the three annual test dates.[5][6]

The Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) is a computer-based exam. The fee to take the full exam is $125, and the fee to retake one subtest is $75. The exam comprises four sections: Reading Comprehension (60 multiple-choice questions), Language Arts (60 multiple-choice questions), Mathematics (50 multiple-choice questions), and Writing (1 constructed-response assignment). The time limit for the full exam is 5 hours. The exam is scored on a scale from 100 to 300 with a passing score of 240.[7]

The Assessment of Professional Teaching (APT) Pre–K through Grade 12 is a computer-based exam. The fee to take the exam is $135. The exam includes 120 multiple-choice questions and 2 constructed-response assignments. The time limit for the full exam is 4 hours 15 minutes. The exam is scored on a scale from 100 to 300 with a passing score of 240.[8]

The Content-Area Tests include a mixture of paper-based and computer-based exams. The majority of Content-Area Tests comprise 125 multiple-choice questions and cost $135 to take, but exceptions exist, especially among the language-related examinations. All exams are scored on a scale of 100 to 300 with a passing score of 240. Candidates are encouraged to check their intended Content-Area Test(s)' specifications on the ILTS website to confirm exam dates and fees.[3]

Unsuccessful candidates who wish to retake an examination must wait 60 days between attempts.[9] Candidates may only take a given ILTS exam up to five times.[2]

Candidates with disabilities who require special testing accommodations must complete an Alternative Testing Arrangements Request Form with supporting documentation and fax or mail these materials to the ILTS program. Candidates will be notified of decisions within about 1-3 weeks.[10]

Test Format

Test Structure

The Illinois Licensure Testing System exam series contain a wide range of topics that deal with content teachers need to know in order to be certified educators. Most of the exams in this series last around four hours, and usually contain about 125 multiple choice questions. Some of the language tests with broader content last about five hours, and contain constructed response questions instead of multiple choice. Almost all of the exams for the ILTS are computer based.

Test Environment

Testing for ILTS exams take place at Pearson VUE testing centers. There, candidates must bring their admission ticket, pencils (if needed) and identification. Identification must be government issued, and contain a signature and photograph. Personal items are not allowed in the testing room. This includes watches, wallets, bags, foods, drinks, phones, and study material. All personal items must be stored in a locker provided by the testing center.

Test Content

  • Sample ILTS Test of Academic Proficiency Practice Questions
  1. A car costs $25,000 plus $675 for tax, title, and license fees. Ari finances the car by putting down $2,500 in cash and taking out a 3-year loan at 4% simple interest. What will his monthly payments be?
    A. $640.00
    B. $650.00
    C. $669.50
    D. $710.00
    E. $722.50
  2. A woman wants to park her 15 foot long car in a garage that is 19 feet long. How far from the front of the garage will her front wheels need to be so that the car is centered on the floor of the garage?
    A. 2 feet
    B. 2.5 feet
    C. 3 feet
    D. 3.5 feet
    E. 4 feet
  • Sample ILTS Assessment of Professional Teaching Practice Questions
  1. A teacher is most likely to use a rubric when:
    A. students in the class are at various academic levels
    B. he or she is grading a performance assessment that has multiple components
    C. he or she is teaching students with limited English skills
    D. he or she is assessing students in order to place them into differentiated reading groups
  2. The most important FIRST step in delivering differentiated reading instruction is to:
    A. select materials for different reading levels
    B. design differentiated assessments appropriate for students at varied reading levels
    C. assess students to determine the range of reading levels that need to be targeted
    D. place students in reading groups based on their overall academic performance
  • Sample ILTS Elementary/Middle Grades Practice Questions
  1. Which of the following processes uses electrical charges to separate substances?
    A. Spectrophotometry
    B. Chromatography
    C. Centrifugation
    D. Electrophoresis
  2. Which of the following types of ocean currents would be the densest?
    A. Warm and high salinity
    B. Warm and low salinity
    C. Cold and high salinity
    D. Cold and low salinity
  • Sample ILTS Special Education General Curriculum Practice Questions
  1. How did Charlemagne's coronation as Holy Roman Emperor influence European politics?
    A. It united much of Western Europe under a single ruler.
    B. It strengthened papal authority regarding the right of political leaders to rule.
    C. It made Catholocism the official religion throughout Charlemagne's empire.
    D. It led to Charlemagne's renunciation of conquest be force.
  2. An action's opportunity cost is best explained in terms of:
    A. the minimum amount a business must borrow for the action.
    B. the opportunities given up in order to pursue that action.
    C. the percentage of one's overall budget that the action requires.
    D. the cost of a long-term action adjusted for inflation.

More free ILTS practice test questions.

Answers to Sample Questions

Academic Proficiency: 1;C 2;A Assessment of Professional Teaching: 1;B 2;C Elementary/Middle Grades: 1;D 2;C Special Education General Curriculum: 1;B 2;B


  1. ^ ILTS: Program Overview July 6 2015
  2. ^ a b c Licensure Testing: Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS) July 6 2015
  3. ^ a b ILTS: Test Selection July 6 2015
  4. ^ ILTS: Best Attempt Pass Rate by Test of Academic Proficiency Subtest, January 1, 2015 and March 31, 2015 July 6 2015
  5. ^ ILTS: Test Dates July 6 2015
  6. ^ ILTS: Test Sites July 6 2015
  7. ^ ILTS: Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) (400) July 6 2015
  8. ^ ILTS: Assessment of Professional Teaching (APT) Pre–K through Grade 12 (188) July 6 2015
  9. ^ ILTS: Retake Policy July 6 2015
  10. ^ ILTS: Registering for Alternative Testing Arrangements July 6 2015